The age of Social media has quite taken over the world in such a short space of time. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Keeketc. You just name it have made it so that news spread around the globe in a matter of minute with the push of just a button. And as the saying goes,with great power comes great responsibility. These tools have come with what we now call “social media activist”
Hashtags are created every day to bring awareness to issues and to apply pressure on government to correct social vices. In civilized Nations, it works as a tool for the majority (forget what they might have taught you in school, minorities rule the world – selected few). Governments sit up at the thought of bad social media publicity. Civilized Nations Ladies and gentlemen – civilized Nations.
Welcome to Nigeria, nah, sorry, welcome to Twitter Nigeria precisely. Where a heart broken lady becomes a philosopher, where an unemployed youth calls him/herself a hustler. Where a virgin becomes a sex-expert, where a tweep with over three thousand followers becomes an online PR expert. Where two dumb low class prostitutes can tweetfight for over 24hours and yet claim to be in school or working (blame their dumb followers though) and where a person who can read and write becomes a political/sport analyst (I think I belong to the last class).
I’d say the tweeps in my class though are the dumbest of the lot, myself inclusive. I know some of you will be wondering why I called the last group the “dumbest” because we have failed to learn over and over again that social media activism simply doesn’t work in Nigeria.
I’ll list some very vital points to help buttress my assertion
Before you continue reading sit down and ask yourself this question, (does Nigeria look like a normal country to you?)
I’m sure by now you will agree with me that Nigeria isn’t a “normal” country because what seems to work in other “civilized” countries doesn’t seem to work here.
Firstly, have there been any time in this country when a Minister allegedly accused of corruption resigned or was sacked? Last year, a Minister in nearby Ghana resigned after it was reported she said she wouldn’t quit politics until she has made one million dollars. While here in Nigeria it took months and I must add (several consultations) before the President could summon up the courage to sack the minister who was ‘accused’ of spending over three hundred million naira on ‘cars’. Only recently it was reported that the Minister of Petroleum use billions to service her wait for this (Private Jet). Yet nothing happened, well according to our President she hasn’t committed a crime because “theft is not corruption”.
Nigeria is so messed up that a State Governor can tell a widow to go and die and yet he wouldn’t resign nor would the state house of assembly impeach him for being so inhuman. In the aftermath, the widow got a job and two million naira as compensation. No questions were asked as to where the money came from, Government coffers or the governor’s private pocket?
I know some will be asking why we should ask questions, the Governor realized his mistake and compensated the woman, besides we are human and no one is above mistake. While I agree with this school of thought, I also want to say that if we always let Politicians get away with what they do, those coming behind them will do exactly the same or worst because they know they will get away with it. It’s the Nigerian People, they are always quick to forget. Alas, in 3 weeks the issue which was trending on twitter for days was suddenly gone, everybody has forgotten about it.
Nigeria is not a “normal” country because no Country in world will be hit with a bomb in her capital city and the President will jet off to a birthday party the next day. Yes, it happened in my country Nigeria, people were killed in a bomb blast in Abuja and my President thought that was the time to party, so he went to a birthday party in Oyo State and a PDP rally in Kano state a day after the bomb blast.
Tell me is that how the President of a “normal” country behaves? Won’t there have been outcry from the masses if Obama pulled that stunt on the American people, won’t Congress be looking for a way to impeach him? But no that can’t happen in Nigeria, we’ll only tweet about it on and forget about it the next day, that’s the end of the matter. We don’t like to dwell on issues for too long.
Yet it is in this same country we expect online activism to work? No chance in hell.
While I must commend Social Media for bringing the attention of the world to the 236 girls that have been kidnapped for over 5weeks now sparking the latest #BringBackOurgirls campaign that has now gone global. Government officials, celebrities abroad have all taken up the mantle including Michelle Obama. In civilized countries this would have been enough for key government officials to lose their jobs. Yet all these unwarranted attention doesn’t seem to pinch our government a little bit. Following outcry from the people the Prime Minister of South Korea resigned because of the disaster response to the Ferry accident that happened but no that won’t happen in Nigeria, they carry on like it’s the norm. It’s nothing new. The president is busy campaigning towards next year’s election. The motto is “Nigerians are gullible, after a while their noise would die down”…well I don’t blame the government for believing such.
Where is the #OccupyNigeria campaign today? Or has the government come forward to give an account or full report of the subsidy probe? How quick Nigerians are quick to forget issues and move onto the next one. A country without any moral value. Both the government in power and its opposition are alike in thinking forget whatever they might try to portray. Having a national conference now filled with the same set of people that have run this country into the ground. Can’t find any valuable thing they have to offer. Let’s just accept that they are on a 3-months government funded vacation. And even they are too feeble to join in the protest for the return of the girls. Can’t they shut down the conference and demand that they wouldn’t sit till the girls are returned home alive? No, they can’t, they like the way their bank accounts are increasing daily.
Don’t even let me get started on the fake religious leaders we have in this country. Fake yes I said it. Or how would you describe ‘religious’ leaders who see wrong but refuse to speak out against it? They prefer to dwell on how much tithe and offering would be paid,what’s the latest jet in town so they can acquire. Wouldn’t it be awesome if one of our so called big pastors came out and publicly attacked the government and join the #BringbackOurGirls campaign? You might all think I love attacking religious leaders for no reason or that I just hate them but no,I see through all the smoke and mirrors. And our so called one sided big activist, the Omojuwas, who simply take the side of whoever pays the best. When are you all going to realize that Nigeria is so morally bankrupt that all these noise won’t solve anything! Can’t the NLC call for a nationwide strike till these poor girls are returned to their parents? No,they can’t I guess. I have been ringing these ever since the #OccupyNigeria campaign the only way forward now for Nigeria is deep cleansing, a revolution. Until government officials start getting attacked physically they won’t understand the pain and hurt around the country. We have gone past the stage of being diplomatic.
This isn’t about fighting for a change in government,this is about fighting for a change in the system. We are simply tired of the same old recycled politicians over and over again. Be it the PDP or APC, do not be deceived,they are all the same. You want the #BringBackOurgirls campaign to succeed? Then you need to #BringDowntheGovernment.
Sadly as I have learnt,Nigerians are weak (me inclusive), push a Nigerian to the wall, rather than turn and fight, he would break it down and keeping running.
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